Mental health services are facing big cuts. However the government has increased spending on draconian welfare reform initiatives targeted at people with mental health issues. This reform agenda suggests unemployment is a psychological failure of the individual rather than the economy. It proposes ‘work therapy’ as the cure. Plans include co-locating mental health services and job centres, placing therapists in Jobcentres, and employment advisors in GP surgeries. Health professionals are being required to focus on employment-related targets with people with mental health needs. There is concern that benefit claimants will be forced to engage with these work therapies and sanctions applied to those who refuse.
This event will bring together welfare claimants, mental health service users/survivors, disabled people, mental health and welfare workers and trade unionists who are opposed to these ‘psycho-compulsion’ proposals. The aim is to develop awareness of these welfare reform policies and to build campaigns against them.